City Council approves plans for new Los Angeles soccer venue
LOS ANGELES -- The City Council on Friday approved plans to build a $250 million stadium for Major League Soccer's expansion Los Angeles Football Club.
The council voted 12-0 to move forward with the 22,000-seat stadium on the site of the old Sports Arena next to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and USC.
"This is precious real estate and this is a precious place," said Tom Penn, team president and co-owner. "The vision is to unite this diverse city around their love of this game. Thank you for this opportunity and we pledge a promise to do you proud."
The Sports Arena, which at different times was home to the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, had its final event in March, a Bruce Springsteen concert. It will be torn down to make way for the new venue.
The 15-acre complex is also slated to include a conference center, restaurants, 140,000 square feet of plazas and streetscapes, and a soccer museum.
At its center would be the home to the new MLS team when it makes its debut in 2018.
In addition to Penn, LAFC is owned by Malaysian billionaire Vincent Tan, American venture capitalist Henry Nguyen and a celebrity-studded list of investors including Magic Johnson, Will Ferrell, Tony Robbins, Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra.
The well-funded club intends to carve a niche in Los Angeles' crowded sports scene while sparking an immediate rivalry with the LA Galaxy, who play in nearby Carson, where the now-defunct Chivas USA also played.